Category : Education
Go Pros and other action cameras are fun to use. Recording your flight has many advantages – from catching things you missed, to improving a technique based on re-watching your videos. But is there a darker side to their use?
We decided to dive into some of the dangers of using action cameras during your flight.
Where is your attention?
The first question, which is arguably the biggest issue, is where is your attention in your flight. Now, PRE-flight is even MORE of an issue. Are you more concerned with getting your camera ready than the aircraft? Did you miss checking your oil levels because you were too busy setting up your GoPro?
Yes, that sounds like an extreme but you can be sure that it happens more than one might think.
To add more to this…where is your attention in flight? Are you more concerned with what the camera is seeing or what you are doing to control the aircraft? Sure, it could be really awesome to post that “near miss” experience on your YouTube channel, but if you were paying attention outside the plane like you were supposed to the incident NEVER should have happened.
Relying on your video
Some of our students and pilots use a GoPro to capture their flight for further evaluation. This can be a great way to “arm chair quarterback” your flight. Pulling up the video (and audio if you have that capability) can provide insight into your flying to help you improve. However, much like the first point, if you rely on your past videos for what to do instead of what the aircraft is telling you, you may find yourself in a more dangerous situation than you intended to get into.
As any camera person will tell you, placing the camera in the right location is fairly important. However, if your camera is in a place that restricts your ability to “see and avoid” you have created a hazardous situation for yourself and other aircraft in the air.
Placing the camera in an out of the way spot so you have the greatest visibility is the best way to handle this. On the wing or behind you in the cock pit are some great places. These positions provide great shots while ensuring that your visibility as the pilot in command is not compromised.
Showing off for the camera
NTSB files are full of accidents that happened because the pilot was trying to show off their skills and impress their passengers. This becomes even more dangerous when you are trying to show off for the camera so people around the world can see you.
Becoming a YouTube star is only a great idea if your flying is safe. Don’t invite unwanted attention to your flying because you “just wanted to see what it looked like on camera.”
What happens if it falls?
Now that you’ve set up the camera in the right location and ensured that it didn’t interfere with your checklists and safety of flight – it falls. What do you do?
If your answer is to dig around your feet (assuming it was inside) or worry about where it dropped on the ground you may want to check your priorities. Always, always fly the aircraft first. Your video is not worth putting you in more danger. Fly the aircraft. First. Always.
What are some of the dangers that you’ve seen from using a Go Pro in flight? What’s something we missed. We are always happy to get your opinion on the matter. Let us know in the comments.